Focus Brands Sells Record 561 Franchises in 2021

    Industry News | January 10, 2022
    Auntie Anne's drive-thru.
    FOCUS Brands
    The chain accelerated its co-branding development efforts.

    Focus Brands, the parent company of iconic brands Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s, announced today that it sold a record-breaking 561 franchises and opened more than 175 units in the United States and Canada in 2021. Focus Brands’ rapid growth reinforces the strength and viability of each brand within the company’s portfolio and proves its commitment to innovation. 

    “It was a historic year at Focus Brands, and I am proud that, despite the immense challenges of the past two years, our brand franchisees continue to see the value in our iconic brands and are committed to helping us grow across the globe,” says Jim Holthouser, Chief Executive Officer of Focus Brands. “Each of our brands have adjusted well to meet the evolving expectations of the guest, and strategic modifications and digital-forward solutions have helped us maintain a strong position in each respective category. As we begin 2022, we remain focused on targeted expansion in new and existing markets and are always looking for the right opportunities to help our seven brands excel.” 

    To help its brands grow, Focus Brands and its franchise companies have prioritized meeting the ever-evolving demands of today’s consumer. Key initiatives include leveraging technology and digital innovation to increase customer accessibility, and introducing new and modernized prototypes to promote convenience and support the industry-wide shift to off-premise dining. Focus Brands has also looked for opportunities to accelerate its co-branding franchise development efforts. To that end, in 2021, Jamba and Auntie Anne’s opened a co-branded location in Wylie, Texas featuring the first-ever Auntie Anne’s drive-thru and subsequently sold 33 franchises for additional Jamba and Auntie Anne’s co-brand locations across the country. Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon recently signed a deal to bring 10 co-branded stores to New York City. McAlister’s Deli also announced this year that they are on-track to be a billion-dollar brand by 2024, a first for one of Focus Brands’ restaurant concepts. 

    Non-traditional restaurant expansion also played a major role in Focus Brands’ growth in 2021. Deals were signed to open future locations in convenience stores, airports, amusement parks, colleges and universities, ghost kitchens and more. Today, across the entire family of brands, there are 972 non-traditional units open throughout the U.S. with an additional 270 units in the pipeline. This includes the recent opening of Jamba’s second robotic kiosk pilot, Jamba by Blendid, with more locations in the pipeline. 

    In addition to the franchises sold in the US and Canada, Focus Brands International sold more than 225 commitments for international expansion and opened more than 215 stores in 2021. In particular, Cinnabon saw impressive growth with key milestones in the Middle East, including the opening of the first ever Cinnabon drive-thru in the region, located just outside of Cairo, Egypt. The brand also signed a deal with the Innovative Union Company to bring 130 new Cinnabon bakeries to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia within the next five years. 

    All seven brands within the Focus Brands portfolio are looking to grow with qualified franchisees. 

    News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.